Pesachim 103-105 the Shortened Havdala- המבדיל בין קודש לחול

These daf focus on the laws of Havdala and the precise wording to be used in the main bracha ,other than the bracha on the wine, spices, candle, Shehecheyanu etc as appropriate.

Although the longer bracha we are accustomed to say is also sourced in this daf, the Gemara also records the shorter version of Rabbi Yehuda haNasi, which includes just one mention of havdala, namely ברוך המבדיל בין קודש לחול.

A number of Amoraim, including Rabbi Yaakov Bar Aba [see Rashbam Pesachim 103b ד”ה “א”ל” ],   רבי מנחם בר סימאי  , and Chananya  [see 104a) seem to follow this view, and the Gemara brings a case where Rav Yehuda told his son, Rabbi Yitchak, to take a basket of fruit to meet Ullah and observe what version of the Havdala he said.

Rather than going himself, he sent Abaya, who reported back to him that Ullah had said only ברוך המבדיל בין קודש לחול.

Rav Yitchak then reported this to his father, who rebuked him for not going himself, saying that his arrogance deprived him of the ability to hear this directly from Ullah himself.

In contrast, Rava would say the full version we have today, citing רבי אלעזר  and רבי אושעיא for support [see Rashbam 103b ד”ה “כי מטא], רב שמואל בר אידי  ruled against his brother חנניא, and רבי יהושע בן לוי  also rules that a concluding bracha is needed as well [104a.]

There are several possible differences between the longer version we say and that of רבי יהודה הנשיא .

  1. The longer version mentions four different types of הבדלות  (distinctions) that Hashem makes, whereas the shorter one only mentions one.
  2. The longer version both begins and ends withאתה ה’  ברוך, whereas the shorter version contains this phrase only once, if at all
  3. The longer version mentions Hashem’s name and is a fully fledged bracha, where it is not immediately clear from the Gemara whether the shorter  version does so and has the status of a fully fledged ברכה.  Whereas the wording quoted by the Gemara does not include the phrase ברוך אתה ה’, it could be that it is taken for granted as כל ברכה שאין בה שם ומלכות לאו שמיה ברכה  (any blessing that does not contain Hashem’s name and the word “king” is not a bracha-Brachos 12a.)  It is also possible though, that the shorter version is only valid for one who made Havdala in his Amida already, and that a second fully-fledged bracha is not required but rather a symbolic declaration is sufficient.

On the one hand, as a later authority, it sees that Rava’s view should be accepted, yet on the other hand, Ullah’s view seems to get the last word in our Gemara.

Some support could possibly be brought from a different sugya (Shabbos 150b) for those who follow רבי יהודה הנשיא  and say the shorter version.

The Mishna (Shabbos 150a  ) rules that it is permitted to wait at the border of the shabbos techum in order to do work in the field outside the techum as soon as Shabbos is over.

The Gemara asks how this is permitted, seeing as it is forbidden to work before Havdala, and two answers are given:

  1. רבי נתן בר אמי  in front of רבא -The Mishna is referring to בין הגיתות  (the wine-pressing season) where there is plenty wine in the field on which to make havdala.
  2. רבי אבא  to  רב אשי -The Mishna is referring to someone who says the phrase ברוך המבדיל בין קודש לחול  after which working is permitted.

The later answer seems to have been  accepted by רב אשי   (who reports this as having been their custom in the house of רב כהנא ), which indicates that we are likely to rule accordingly, hence validating the shorter version.

However, whereas the later answer seems very similar in wording to the view of רבי יהודה הנשיא  in our sugya, there are some major differences:

  1. In our sugya, we are talking about the ideal version of the havdala, whereas the case in Shabbos might simply be referring to a second-best solution when making havdala properly is not possible before work.
  2. In our sugya, whatever the accepted version of havdala is works completely, and one has fulfilled one’s obligation with it. In contrast, it is possible that in the case in Shabbos, one would still need to say the full havdala properly later.
  3. In our sugya, it is clear that even the shorter version is said over a cup of wine, whereas the solution mentioned in shabbos seems to be for a situation where wine is not available (after all, it is brought as an alternative answer to בין הגיתות .)
  4. In our sugya, one is clearly permitted to do anything that havdala stood in the way of doing once the correct version has been said, including not only doing מלאכה  but also eating and drinking. There is no mention in the sugya in Shabbos about permission to eat and drink, just permission to work. Some analysis is required to ascertain whether there should be a practical different regarding work and eating and drinking, but it is possible that even if the symbolic declaration is sufficient to allow work, the general rule forbidding eating before a time-urgent mitzva is performed might still apply until the full version has been said correctly over a cup of wine.

Although there is much discussion in the ראשונים  here and particularly in Shabbos as to the above points and how these two סוגיות  relate to each other, there appears to be near consensus that in our sugya, we are talking an abridged but fully fledged bracha, with שם ומלכות, made over a cup of wine.

There is some debate however, whether the view of עולא  is equivalent to that of רבי יהודה הנשיא, includes only one phrase of הבדלה  rather than four, and lacks the concluding phrase “ברוך אתה ה'” typical of longer brachos (see for example Rashi , and רבינו חננאל ) or whether עולא’s version included all 4 phrases and simply left out the concluding bracha (see Tosfos 195a, also see Rashbam 104b)

When it comes to the case in Shabbos, most ראשונים   (רש”י שם, רבינו חננאל שם,רשב”א שם,רי”ד שם וכו) seem to hold that the shorter version there is just a סימנא בעלמא  (symbolic statement) which permits work, but not eating and drinking, and that needs to be followed as soon as possible by the full הבדלה .

As such, it does not include the phrase “ברוך אתה ה’ ”  even once , containing just the words “ברוך המבדיל בין קודש לחול “ and no cup of wine.

According to this view, although the same phrase is used in both סוגיות, they are actually two completely things- The version in our sugya is רבי יהודה הנשיא’s shortened version of a fully-fledged הבדלה  with which one fulfills one’s obligation in full, whereas the version in Shabbos is a symbolic phrase that lacks the form of a ברכה  at all and merely delays the full הבדלה, allowing one to work but not eat or drink in the meanwhile.

In contrast, The ריף, (also quoted by various Rishonim such as , רשב”א ,ר”ן  ריטב”א) seems to link the two sugyos and hold that the version mentioned in Shabbos is the same version of רבי יהודה הנשיא  . He rules that in our case, seeing as the מנהג  was not in accordance with רבי יהודה הנשיא , one has to say the full version of הבדלה  before eating or drinking. In contrast, in the case in Shabbos, the custom follows רבי יהודה הנשיא  and the shorter version of הבדלה  suffices in order to allow one to work but must include שם ומלכות  and according to some interpretations (See Rashba)  even requires a cup of wine.

A  similar  approach is evident in  רבינו חננאל  (Shabbos 150b) who also requires שם ומלכות  but like the Rif, makes no explicit mention of requiring a cup of wine  and so rules the Tur (O.C. 299), bringing the ראש  and the בה”ג  for support!

In practise, later authorities rule that  the full Havdala is required before eating or drinking, and that the shortened symbolic version with no שם ומלכות  and no wine is sufficient to permit working.

 Some Rishonim (רשב”א שבת קנ: ,טור או”ח  299 וכו) seem to only permit this if one has ALSO made הבדלה  in his amida, but most seem to consider either this symbolic statement OR the הבדלה  in the amida sufficient to allow work to be performed, while requiring the full הבדלה  to be said before eating or drinking . (עיין רש”י שם,ר”ן שם,ריטב”א שם, רמב”ם ה’ שבת כט-ו לפי הבנת הריטב”א אלא שצ”ע), and this is the way post later  poskim rule  ( ש”ע או”ח רצט-ורמ”א שם )

This seems to be an interesting example where the Shulchan Aruch rules against both the Rif and the Tur, even more so given that the Rambam’s words could be somewhat ambiguous!

These posts are intended to raise issues and stimulate further research and discussion on contemporary topics related to the daf. They are not intended as psak halacha.

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